iCloud tabs in iOS 11 and El Capitan

Ghaleon

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Oct 17, 2014
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I have been running the Golden Master version of iOS 11 (15A372) for the past two days. Reminders, Notes, Contacts, and eMail sync perfectly. The only thing that doesn't sync is the Safari tabs (iCloud tabs).

I tried doing what's recommended in cases like this: quit Safari, make a backup of the Bookmarks and then delete all the Safari settings, logging out of iCloud in all the devices (Mac mini, iPhone, and iPad), restarting all the devices, and logging into iCloud in all the devices again. After I did all that and let everything sync for a while, I could see the Mac's tabs in the iOS devices, and I could never see the iOS devices tabs on the Mac.

I use that feature pretty much every day. I like to switch from the Mac to the iPad and back throughout the day.

I am *not* going to upgrade from El Capitan. I'm still using Adobe CS6 and I don't want to risk it not running anymore. I do real work on my Mac: I edit photos with it. If I cannot find a solution within the next few days I will downgrade to iOS 10 while I still can. It is a shame because I like the Control Center more in iOS 11. Any ideas?
 
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bankshot

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Hmm. I just checked this - iOS 11 (iPhone 6) and El Capitan 10.11.6. iPhone sees Safari tabs from the Mac, but the Mac doesn't see anything from the iPhone. Tested on 2 different Macs running El Capitan.

Also tested on an iPad with iOS 10.3.3 - same as the Macs. Also just fired up a virtual machine running Sierra 10.12.6. Same story. Everyone sees Safari tabs from the iPad (iOS 10) and the 2 Macs (El Capitan) and the vm (Sierra). Nobody sees tabs from the iPhone (iOS 11). So I'm not sure that it has anything to do with El Capitan specifically - it's iOS 11.

I'll note that iOS 11 did make me accept new iCloud terms - this was not enforced during upgrade, and I only noticed when testing this just now. I went to Settings / my account / iCloud and noticed many things were greyed out. There was something near the top saying I had to accept new terms, so I did. This didn't help. I tried logging out and back into iCloud, still no good.

Is anyone able to sync Safari tabs from iOS 11 to any other Apple OS?
 

v1597psh

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Update to Safari 11 on your Mac. My iOS 10.3.3 devices can't see tabs opened on my Mac running Sierra and Safari 11. Definitely compatibility issues as they changed syncing system with iOS 11 and Safari 11
 
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bankshot

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Thanks. Safari 11 fixed the issue on Sierra, but definitely not on El Capitan. Edit: in fact, the Sierra tabs now disappeared from El Capitan and iOS 10 machines. :(

While I do plan to eventually upgrade to High Sierra (give it a few point releases), this does leave people behind such as OP or those stuck on iOS 10 (like the iPad 4 I tested on). Very annoying. I wonder what forced the incompatibility, and why they couldn't support older OSes?
 

bmac89

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Safari tabs have not synced to Mac running El Capitan since I installed beta 1.

Unfortuently I don’t expect this will change.
 

v1597psh

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Safari tabs have not synced to Mac running El Capitan since I installed beta 1.

Unfortuently I don’t expect this will change.
Based on release notes they haven't changed syncing system in Safari 11 for El Capitan which is why it still doesn't work for you. Hopefully they fix these compatibility issues as I don't won't to update to iOS 11. And I should have stayed on Safari 10...
macOS Sierra
• More accurate Contacts AutoFill
Improved iCloud syncing for Bookmarks, Reading List, and Tabs
• Support for HTML Media Capture and WebRTC
• Autoplay blocking (media with sound no longer automatically plays on
most websites).
• Ability to configure Reader, Content Blockers, Page Zoom, and AutoPlay on a per website basis
• Ability to automatically activate Reader mode on some websites or all websites
• Refreshed Media Controls for HTML Video and Audio
• Memory improvements to tab restoration (tabs left open at launch load on demand)
• Unload websites in tabs that use excessive memory/CPU
• Additional protection against malicious websites trapping users on the site
• Reduced memory usage of Safari Extensions

OS X El Capitan
• More accurate Contacts AutoFill
• Support for HTML Media Capture and WebRTC
• Autoplay blocking (media with sound no longer automatically plays on
most websites)
• Ability to configure Reader, Content Blockers, Page Zoom, and AutoPlay on a per website basis
• Ability to automatically activate Reader mode on some websites or all websites
• Refreshed Media Controls for HTML Video and Audio
• Memory improvements to tab restoration (tabs left open at launch load on demand)
• Unload websites in tabs that use excessive memory/CPU
• Additional protection against malicious websites trapping users on the site
• Reduced memory usage of Safari Extensions
 

Ghaleon

macrumors newbie
Oct 17, 2014
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Thank you everyone for letting us know.

By the way, I gave in and updated to Sierra the way I always did: make one last backup with Time Machine, disable Time Machine, format the internal hard disk, upgrade to Sierra, and restore the data in the internal hard disk from the last Time Machine backup. All the Adobe applications worked! The iCloud Safari tabs still don't work on the Mac.

I don't remember which version of Safari I have, so I will check tonight.
 

bmac89

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Thank you everyone for letting us know.

By the way, I gave in and updated to Sierra the way I always did: make one last backup with Time Machine, disable Time Machine, format the internal hard disk, upgrade to Sierra, and restore the data in the internal hard disk from the last Time Machine backup. All the Adobe applications worked! The iCloud Safari tabs still don't work on the Mac.

I don't remember which version of Safari I have, so I will check tonight.
I think you might have to upgrade to High Sierra to get iCloud tabs working with iOS 11 but I’m not sure?
 

bmac89

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Based on release notes they haven't changed syncing system in Safari 11 for El Capitan which is why it still doesn't work for you. Hopefully they fix these compatibility issues as I don't won't to update to iOS 11. And I should have stayed on Safari 10...
macOS Sierra
• More accurate Contacts AutoFill
Improved iCloud syncing for Bookmarks, Reading List, and Tabs
• Support for HTML Media Capture and WebRTC
• Autoplay blocking (media with sound no longer automatically plays on
most websites).
• Ability to configure Reader, Content Blockers, Page Zoom, and AutoPlay on a per website basis
• Ability to automatically activate Reader mode on some websites or all websites
• Refreshed Media Controls for HTML Video and Audio
• Memory improvements to tab restoration (tabs left open at launch load on demand)
• Unload websites in tabs that use excessive memory/CPU
• Additional protection against malicious websites trapping users on the site
• Reduced memory usage of Safari Extensions

OS X El Capitan
• More accurate Contacts AutoFill
• Support for HTML Media Capture and WebRTC
• Autoplay blocking (media with sound no longer automatically plays on
most websites)
• Ability to configure Reader, Content Blockers, Page Zoom, and AutoPlay on a per website basis
• Ability to automatically activate Reader mode on some websites or all websites
• Refreshed Media Controls for HTML Video and Audio
• Memory improvements to tab restoration (tabs left open at launch load on demand)
• Unload websites in tabs that use excessive memory/CPU
• Additional protection against malicious websites trapping users on the site
• Reduced memory usage of Safari Extensions
Thanks for that info. I won't hold my breath waiting for Apple to "fix" it. No doubt it is intentional to make users update macOS.
 

Ghaleon

macrumors newbie
Oct 17, 2014
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Safari 11 is not final. It is called Safari Technology Preview. I installed the Sep 19 version and it was a mess. Safari on iOS 11 showed the tabs of the regular Safari. The regular Safari on the Mac showed the tabs of the Mac's Technology Preview only. The Technology Preview on the Mac showed the tabs of the Mac's regular Safari only.

Hopefully once the Safari Technology Preview becomes the final version and they release it on the App Store, all the bugs will be fixed and all the tabs will appear in all the devices.

You can find the Technology Preview here:

https://developer.apple.com/safari/technology-preview/
 
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bmac89

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Safari 11 is not final. It is called Safari Technology Preview.
Safari Technology Preview is not compatible with El Capitan and Safari 11 has already been released publicly for El Capitan, Sierra and High Sierra.
 

Ghaleon

macrumors newbie
Oct 17, 2014
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I swear to you that Safari 11 was not on my App Store until *after* I saw the two replies to my last post here. It was not there yesterday.

I upgraded to Safari 11. While I was upgrading, I turned off both my iPad and my iPhone. After I finished downloading Safari, I restarted the Mac. And it works! I click on the iCloud icon on the toolbar and I see tabs of my iPad, iPhone, and even Safari Technology Preview. And the iOS devices are still off.

Thank you for everyone who helped. It appears the solution is to upgrade to Sierra and Safari 11 on the Mac and to iOS 11 on the iPad and the iPhone.
 

ATC

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So just to confirm, open tabs on iOS 11 devices will no longer show in Safari (even ver 11) on macs running El Capitan?

This sucks as I can't upgrade my mac to Sierra.
 

bmac89

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Aug 3, 2014
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So just to confirm, open tabs on iOS 11 devices will no longer show in Safari (even ver 11) on macs running El Capitan?

This sucks as I can't upgrade my mac to Sierra.
That is my understanding. I’m in the same situation and I think this really stinks, especially when they released Safari 11 for El Capitan but break iCloud tabs for El Capitan only. I believe Safari 11 also breaks iCloud tabs between devices running iOS 10 & El Capitan even though they work prior to Safari 11.

It is not a new feature and I don’t see any reason for it to not work. How complicated is it to sync tabs!!!
 
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bmac89

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So we know Icloud tabs don't sync between iOS 11 and El Capitan, however can anyone tell me whether Reading List and Bookmarks still sync both ways between iOS 11 and Safari 11 in El Capitan?

I'm still running Safari 10.1.2 on El Capitan and Bookmarks and Reading list sync both ways with iOS 11 but I'm worried that Safari 11 may break this also?
 

v1597psh

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Feb 4, 2014
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They seeded Safari 11.0.1 beta 1 for Sierra and El Capitan. Maybe it fixes those compatibility issues
 

rnsm

macrumors newbie
Dec 3, 2017
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Have the same issue. Talking to support now, reporting the bug, hope they will fix it.

p.s. Still angry why the f*&( i updated to ios 11. Worst update ever.
 

ATC

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I gave up on waiting for Apple to fix this and went ahead and installed 10.13 on my unsupported iMac (early 2009 model) with the help of the fine folks over in the "unsupported macs" threads in High Sierra, and now I have iCloud safari sync working again between my mac and iPhone 7.

It's a shame that we have to put up with these antics that seem to be nothing more than a deliberate yet artificial limitation imposed for no good reason.
 
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bmac89

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A quick question for those still running El Capitan and iOS 11

I know Safari iCloud tabs don’t work however I’m wondering whether bookmarks and reading list still sync both directions between El Capitan and iOS 11 on latest version of Safari (11.0.1) ?

I’m still running Safari 10.1.2 on El Capitan 10.11.6 and whilst tabs don’t work, the reading list and bookmarks do sync and I’m worried that updating Safari might break this??

Thanks

Answer: I went ahead and updated Safari on El Capitan and Reading list and bookmarks are still syncing.
 
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bmac89

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A quick question for those still running El Capitan and iOS 11

I know Safari iCloud tabs don’t work however I’m wondering whether bookmarks and reading list still sync both directions between El Capitan and iOS 11 on latest version of Safari (11.0.1) ?

I’m still running Safari 10.1.2 on El Capitan 10.11.6 and whilst tabs don’t work, the reading list and bookmarks do sync and I’m worried that updating Safari might break this??

Thanks

Answer: I went ahead and updated Safari on El Capitan and Reading list and bookmarks are still syncing.
I don't believe it! Reading List and Bookmarks no longer sync in either direction. It literally worked for part of 1 day after updating Safari and now no longer works. I have tried iCloud settings toggle on/off and signing out etc.

Previously bookmarks & reading list would sync even though tabs didn’t. I can live without iCloud tabs but now this being broken is extremely irritating!

Can anyone confirm whether or not Reading list syncs either way between El Capitan (Safari 11.0.1) and iOS 11?
 
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bmac89

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I gave up on waiting for Apple to fix this and went ahead and installed 10.13 on my unsupported iMac (early 2009 model) with the help of the fine folks over in the "unsupported macs" threads in High Sierra, and now I have iCloud safari sync working again between my mac and iPhone 7.

It's a shame that we have to put up with these antics that seem to be nothing more than a deliberate yet artificial limitation imposed for no good reason.
Hi there ATC, I'm reluctantly and frustratingly thinking of doing the same and updating my iMac 9,1 (early 2009) to High Sierra using the unofficial patch. My iMac has 8gb RAM and spinning hard drive.

I will head over to the appropriate forum but I wanted to ask you some questions specifically because it seems you have a similar Mac to me. What model do you have exactly and how much RAM? Do you have spinning hard drive or solid state drive? How well does it perform? El Capitan was ok for general daily use such as Safari and Mail but not as fast as Snow Leopard. Any other relevant information that would be good to know?

Thanks in advance! :)
 

ATC

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Hi there ATC, I'm reluctantly and frustratingly thinking of doing the same and updating my iMac 9,1 (early 2009) to High Sierra using the unofficial patch. My iMac has 8gb RAM and spinning hard drive.

I will head over to the appropriate forum but I wanted to ask you some questions specifically because it seems you have a similar Mac to me. What model do you have exactly and how much RAM? Do you have spinning hard drive or solid state drive? How well does it perform? El Capitan was ok for general daily use such as Safari and Mail but not as fast as Snow Leopard. Any other relevant information that would be good to know?

Thanks in advance! :)
Sorry for the late reply, was out of town : )

My 24" iMac 9,1 (early 2009) model is:
C2D 2.93GHz
8GB RAM (upgraded from 4GB)
Regular 640GB HD (not SSD)
GT120 256mb

The machine has surprisingly handled High Sierra fairly well and while the process went smoothly overall (following this guide here, thanks @dosdude1 and hope it's ok to link to your page), I did experience a couple of set backs.

One, for some reason I lost the functionality on my full wired keyboard's USB ports. I used to plug USB flash drives or my iPhone/iPad into the keyboard without issues in El Cap, but now I get a low-power warning (image below)

port.jpeg


So I reverted to using my old Apple wireless k/b to free up a USB spot on the mac for my i-devices. It's not an ideal solution as I miss the numpad but I'll survive.

edit: this seems to have been fixed with the latest patcher update that addresses the USB issue. I'm back to using the full wired keyboard.

Second issue is I lost iTunes wifi sync with my iPhone 7. This one wasn't too big a deal for me as it was spotty in El Cap to begin with so not a huge loss.

Third, updating from 10.13.1 to 10.13.2 was a bit of a headache in that while the update itself went well, afterwards I lost Safari and App Store functionality. On the recommendation from members in the unsupported mac thread, I installed and ran the free program Onyx for mac (ver 3.4.0) and ran the built-in automation script and that has solved the issue.

And finally, the only other issue I seem to be having is the screen brightness setting doesn't seem to stick between sleep cycles. I installed a free app called Brightness Slider from the App Store and that seems to have fixed this and it offers a wider range of brightness as a bonus (my screen can now dim lower than it previously could - nice for night time work).

Oh, one last item but unsure if this is related to High Sierra. My wifi would sometimes drop connection while showing a connected status. Remedy is to turn Off then On my wifi on the mac and it works after that. My ISP did set up a new wireless modem not too long ago so this could be chalked up to that but I'm not entirely sure.

Overall, I'd say it was worth it for me to do this. Obviously I regained iCloud tab syncing but I also was able to upgrade my Pages, Numbers and Keynote to the latest version which now syncs again with their iOS 11 counterparts. The machine is running smooth but with some noticeable lag/slowness. Not something I care too much about as I mainly use this machine for secondary things (Mail, Safari, writing, occasional image editing.... light stuff).

If you have any more Qs, fire away or post in the unsupported mac thread - many very helpful people there.:)
 
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